You might have heard that tyre overinflation might lead to some gains.
That’s a common misconception. Overinflating your tyres will lead to marginally better handling and fuel efficiency, but not by much.
The truth is that overinflating your tyres could lead to serious control problems.
But let’s first look at what properly inflating a tyre does to your car.
Proper tyre inflation
Proper inflation of your tyres – following the owner’s manual – ensures that your tyre is used as best as it can be.
Every car has a load rating that states how much weight a car can carry, but that assumes your tyres are properly inflated.
If your tyres are under- or overinflated, that could lead to stability issues, or even a tyre blowing out.
Evenly-inflated tyres also mean even wear, which helps to save you costs in the long run.
What does tyre overinflation do?
- Overinflated tyres wear faster along the centre width compared with properly-inflated tyres.
- Loss of traction – an overinflated tyre has a smaller contact patch with the road, which leads to reduced traction. That’s dangerous, especially in bad weather.
- Harsher ride – you’ll feel more bumps in the road because your tyres are now harder
Having said that, some slight overinflation of your tyres brings about several benefits.
Your tyres will encounter reduced rolling resistance as the contact patch between them and the road is now smaller.
That brings about a very small rise in fuel economy, but nothing drastic.
That is in contrast to under inflating your tyres, which gives you more contact area but ultimately impacts your fuel economy.
At the end of the day, make sure you adhere strictly to the tyre pressure recommended by your car’s manufacturer.
Also, never exceed the maximum tyre pressure which is embossed on the side of your tyre, which should say something like “Max PSI”.